Nov. 23, 2009
No. 23 California welcomes Jacksonville and Princeton this week. The Bears face Jacksonville on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Head coach Mike Montgomery met with the local media on Monday to discuss this week's games.
They're small, quick, athletic and really good at the point of attack. They have four starters back, and they're picked to win their conference.
On facing the zone defense a lot more now:
I suspect we'll see some zone, but again, a bad zone isn't going to hurt. A good zone will. Syracuse plays zone 100% of the time. Ohio State played zone a fair portion of the time. If somebody tries to do something they are not very good at, it's not going to hurt us. They (Syracuse and Ohio State) were just big zones.
On preventing blocked shots:
We have to be stronger with the ball. We have to do a better job with our interior passing. I think we have to be strong and take the ball to the basket so there is contact, and maybe we can get to foul line. We're undersized and they were big and had some good shot blockers. They (Ohio State) started Lauderdale and he was pretty effective. A lot of those blocks were on point-blank shots, where instead of us getting two points, we led to them running out and getting two points which are four-point turnarounds, and that is really hard on you. So, we are just going to have to be better at what we run, but I don't know anything else we can do differently other than just be stronger with the ball inside.
On what the team learned from last week's games in New York:
We didn't learn anything more that we didn't already know. We went in the day before thinking Theo (Robertson) wasn't going to practice, but that he was going to play so we didn't know that was going to be the case. Those were two very good basketball teams that we played against. We let a lot of our mistakes lead to points for them and that's something we can't do. We just have to continue to work at the notion that we can win at the defensive end. The kids are a little bit down, a little bit discouraged and a lot of them have picked up a little bit of a cold on the trip. We have a little bit of pumping up to do.
On Theo Robertson:
He is not going to play tomorrow. He had a major foot MRI this morning and we are in the process of getting it read by a variety of different people. The first indication is it looked pretty positive.
On how missing Theo Robertson affects Patrick Christopher:
It makes us an awful lot easier to guard, that's for sure. They made a distinct point not to let Patrick and Jerome (Randle) get clean looks, and we could have made some adjustments with Theo like we've done in the past. He would have had a field day having that extra guy, the extra shooter, plus with Jorge (Gutierrez) in there. But we really didn't have another shooter to offset what they did. He just gives us so much flexibility and our substitution pattern was different. Jorge started, got into foul trouble, and then he was out. We were scrambling a little bit.